Part 2 - Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies to Support Nervous System Stability - Ancestral Wisdom and Energy Work
This is part 2 - for part 1 please click HERE
Nurturing Our Roots with Ancestral Wisdom - Grounding Nutrition
For physical nutrition it is beneficial to use foods and nutrients that ground our physical form, support the regeneration of our nervous system tissue, as well as promote neurotransmitter balance for optimal brain and nervous system transmission.
I will account for some biochemical individuality and ethical dietary choices in these suggestions. However, from my current perspective and experience, there are some nutritional choices that may be more beneficial for the desired effect of building a robust and stable nervous system due to the bioavailability and form of their nutritional components.
Grounding foods – Root Vegetables and the Doctrine of Signatures
- Sweet Potato
As the doctrine of signature indicates, foods that grow in the earth help ground us through there rooted earth energetics.
Moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates can support serotonin production in the brain by supporting the rare amino acid tryptophan through the blood brain barrier into the brain where it can be used to build neurotransmittors and provide a satiating source of calories for calming our nervous system. Baked root vegetables are especially helpful in the evening to induce relaxation and deeper sleep. Parsnips are notably yang and warming in characteristic.
Bioenergetics of Animal Foods - Fish, Eggs, Dairy and Meat
Our unique constitution and life goals can guide how well suited we are to utilise animal foods within our diet. Our ancestry and geographical latitude can be a most helpful guide here.
We can observe, the further people live from the equator into more temperate, cold regions of the earth, the more animal foods would have been traditionally used. This is due to the seasonal cycles influence on food availability throughout the year and importantly, the different bioenergetic effect animal and plant foods have within our body.
Again, generally speaking, animal foods have a more yang, warming effect within us if metabolised well, and plant foods tend to be more yin and cooling. The cooking style also has a influence on the energetic effect on us.
So, we can sense from this, fresh fruits and vegetables, especially in their raw form, are better suited to the warmer summer and fall months, which is also the time of year they are mostly in season. Likewise, some animal foods can offer a deeper warming nourishment during the cold winter months which are tonifying to the Kidney organ system that governs our skeletal, hormone and urinary systems.
The Ethical and Nutritional Considerations with Animal Foods
There are of course, many understandable ethical and nutritional reasons not to consume factory farm raised animals. The stress experienced during a factory farmed animals life can be imprinted and carried into the consumer.
Grain fed factory farmed animals can have an imbalanced omega 3 to 6 fatty acid ratio, dominant in omega 6. Omega 6 dominance can promote the production of pro inflammatory prostaglandins. Chronic inflammation places a burden on the immune and hormonal systems of the body.
There is also an increased risk of antibiotic and toxic agrichemical residue which can build up in the fatty tissue of farmed animals.
Karma, Evolution and Ascension - Pro’s and Con’s of a Vegan Diet
A living food, vegan diet can be a profoundly healing dietary strategy for many people to cleanse the body of certain types of toxicity and promoting cellular regeneration when used consciously for a period of time.
We may even be experiencing an evolutionary shift within our physiology and awareness that means that many more people can sustain themselves solely on the elemental energies found in light, air, water and plant foods.
Many intuitively feel this type of dietary lifestyle carries less energetic karma because less suffering in created in the process of transferring energy from one species to another in order to sustain life.
This process does seem to carry a certain parasitic edge to it, especially in the way human industrial agriculture and feedlot practices have developed to put profit over animal welfare.
I feel this represents our disconnection from the natural life cycles of the earth and our place in the planetary ecosystem as a species.
Traditional Dietary Patterns and Ancestral Wisdom - Dr Weston A Price
When the dentist Dr Weston A Price traveled the world in the early 1900's to study indigenous cultures around the world, he observed how many populations prize certain animal foods as sacred. Through direct experience and wisdom carried down through their ancestral lineages, they realised the vitality that was imbued when using certain animal products from their environment. These included milk products, eggs and especially organ meats. They would see the taking of another animals life to sustain themselves as a sacred experience and give thanks to the animal spirit for its life. This reverence for life has unfortunately been lost in much of modern society.
Dr Weston Price also observed the detrimental effect missing out certain nutrients had on the development of children in their communities. When modern refined foods like white flour, refined oils and canned food were introduced, replacing the traditional animal foods, the children showed significant deformities in their skeletal structure especially there teeth.
Some of the Key Nutrients found in their Metabolically Active Form in animal foods are the:
Fat Soluble Vitamins A, D, E, and K2, bioavailable minerals zinc, selenium, copper, B vitamins B12 and methyl folate, as well as the long chain Omega 3 and 6 fatty acid EPA and DHA.
These are powerful for maintaining cellular membranes, antioxidant status, hormone, immune, calcium balance, and nervous system integrity.
So while a solely plant food vegan diet can sustain certain body types, especially if their microbiome is in optimal balance and they are in the right environmental circumstances to optimise the yield of energy they can extract from there surroundings. Many people however, have found they become increasingly ungrounded and experience physical degeneration when a vegan diet is applied on a long-term basis.
In Ayurveda, this is called a Vata imbalance; Vata being the dosha that governs the elements of space and air. This may manifest physically as muscle loss, cracking joints, poor neurological health, anxiety and paranoia.
Energetically, this may temporarily give the sensation of having greater spiritual connection and lightness, but if the physical form is unable to maintain its fundamental structure, our soul essence may not have the stable vessel it requires to anchor into as a foundational structure to then express itself and influence the material world.
This can lead to a roller coaster ride of emotional instability, fluctuating from elation to despair. I had to learn this the hard way through personal experience before I understood what was happening to me.
On the other hand, traditionally raised animal foods, raised on their natural diet like pastured grasslands, offer a whole spectrum of bioavailable nutrients to nourish and ground the physical body.
Ruminant agriculture plays a major role in regenerative farming that can transform landscapes that have been stripped bear by monocropping of cereal grains and legumes, turning them back into rich grasslands again with deep fertile top soil and biodiversity creating new habits for many species.
Many researchers suggest that pasture raised animal foods have a net negative carbon impact soil due to the carbon trapping from soil based organisms that are nourished on the grass lands.
To explore this subject more, explore the Sacred Cow movie and book. https://www.sacredcow.info
Bioavailable Nutrients found in Animal Foods
- Eggs yolks
- Organic unpasteurised dairy (goat and sheep less allergenic A2 casein protein)
- Fresh water and sea fish
- Grass-fed red meat
- Poultry and game
- Bee Pollen
Fat Soluble Vitamins A, D, E, and K2 – maintain antioxidant, immune, calcium balance, and nervous system integrity
Water Soluble Vitamins Methyl folate, B3, B6, B12 and some vit C – the B vitamins provide methylation support to run metabolic pathways for detoxification as well as the myelination of our nervous system. Myelin sheaths protect the neuron from external signals so that the action potential can run up the nerve and deliver its messages undisturbed.
Full Spectrum mineral and collagen rich protein provides all amino acids in bioavailable form.
Long chain Omega 3 fatty acids - for cell membrane, nervous system and brain neurogenesis
Cholesterol – base building block of steroid hormone production like cortisol, oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, bile salts, and cell membrane integrity.
Choline – Cell membrane integrity, fatty acid transport and emulsification
Bioavailable Minerals -
Zinc - powerful immune and androgenic hormonal support
Copper – Antioxidant, Immune and metabolic support.
Selenium – Antioxidant, detoxification, and hormonal support
Chromium – Metabolic blood sugar support
Vegan sources of some of these nutrients would be:
- Marine phytoplankton and other algae’s offer phospholids, minerals and amino acid spectrum
- Fermented foods like kimchi and natto for K2
- Yeast Extract
*Bee pollen if included on vegan diet for B vitamins, all amino acids, choline and minerals
Vegan diets are often low in:
- Bioavailable B12
Power of the Microbiome –
Supporting a healthy gut microbiome by minimising everything in your diet and lifestyle that can create microbial dysbiosis is a vital first step. I wrote more about this in my article about inflammation HERE.
A healthy microbiome creates neuropeptides that can cross the blood brain barrier and support the epigenetic regulation of our genes. Many of these genes code for neurotransmitter production. There are a few special, ground breaking technologies that utilise microbial fermentation of plants to create special nutrients that can optimise the epigenetic expression of these neurochemical genes and help restore our neurochemical reserves. GABA and Serotonin are especially important for supporting a calm stable nervous system.
Minimising stimulant drugs like caffeine, nicotine, theobromine, amphetamine can also help preserve our nervous system stability.
Nutritional Supplements to Consider:
There are hundreds of nutrient and herbal compounds I could share as recommendations, but here are a few key ones with a good bang for your buck.
Magnesium is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies due to its depletion in many of the soils are crops are grown in. Magnesium is required for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and plays a powerful role in the regulation of our nervous system and muscle relaxation.
Magnesium glycinate – My favourite form of magnesium as it is well absorbable, and glycine as an important amino acid has a calming effect on the nervous system.
Note – Supplementing extra glycine may be contraindicated with certain types of psychiatric medication.
Magnesium Glycinate is available in capsule form although my preference is the powder to avoid unnecessary capsule ingestion. Mg - 300mg - 1000mg.
Magnesium baths and foot soaks using Epsom salts (Mag Sulphate) or Magnesium Chloride may also be a therapeutic tool to
Vitamin C and B complex are also used up at increased rates during times of stress. Supplementing these for specific periods can be helpful to maintain immune and nervous system health.
Lithium Orotate also has powerful neuroprotective effects when used at the appropriate low dose of 5 -10 mg.
To explore more see our 'Nutrient and Supplement Guide' available for FREE within the Health Wisdom Membership site.
Getting personalised nutritional advice would be advised if you are unsure about the suitability or amount of supplements to take.
Emotional Grounding – Nervous System Regulation
Our ability to manage stress is a key to maintain a balanced emotional composure. I wrote more about specific stress busting strategies in an eBook 40 Strategies to transform stress available for FREE within the Health Wisdom Membership Site.
However, in this article I would like to discuss techniques to support what’s known as Nervous System Regulation.
Without our ability to regulate our nervous system, we can easily feel overwhelmed, anxious, depressed and isolated.
A researcher in the field of behavioural neuroscience named Steven Porges has developed a working model he called polyvagal theory. I will not go int the details here, however, an aspect of his work involves supporting our social engagement system and the activation of certain vagal nerves responses.
The theory suggests that smiles, gentle eye contact and soft voices with rhythmic inflections signal the brain structures that regulate the myelinated pathway of the Vagus Nerve. This is relevant because our vagus nerve is the major nerve governed by the rest and repair, parasympathetic nervous system. This aspect of our nervous system plays an important part in our ability to engage with life in a naturally relaxed manner.
Strategies to enhance our social engagement system
- Gentle socialising in a comfortable environment
- Listening to enjoyable music
- Sounds of nature or sound enhanced audio programs like Safe and Sound Protocol developed by Stephen Porges
- Singing, toning or playing wind instruments are great for vagal nerve activation
- Reading books, listening to podcasts with different friendly people; biographies especially help us to engage with other people’s lives that helps to reconnect us into external world, fiction books also spark imagination
- Interaction with the natural world, pets and other animals
- Low impact interactions like when shopping, speaking to a cashier is a great opportunity to spark light conversations. It’s great to be able to light another person up. Using friendly remarks, questions or complements.
- Smiling at people
- Catching people’s eyes across street and waving supports a real sense heart connected community.
- Creative Expression – Art Therapy supports brain balance, dance, free writing
- Sharing an open face i.e. not wearing a mask that disconnects many of our social engagement cues by hiding people’s facial expressions.
Energy Medicine For Grounding and Harmonizing our Energy Fields
There are also great energy medicine routines that use acupressure points and qi gong movements to support our bodies natural energetic flow.
Donna Edens 5 mins energy routine would be a great place to start.
For deeper work there a whole field of trauma resolution that can help to address more unconscious layers of stress that may be encoded with the body that significantly influence our ability to regulate our nervous system.
See Juliet Yelverton Trauma Resolution work HERE.
While there are many more areas to cover that align with this subject matter, I hope this overview has provided some useful insights.
Thank you for reading